Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, especially you Mets fans. Y’all pumped or what? Cleveland _______ fans, I’m sorry. Tank time. How’s Cleveland Tanks sound for a new moniker to put in that blank? Tanks are…cool, right? World of Tanks is a kinda popular game, no?

Alrighty, folks, here’s the best of this past week in offseason baseball (with a different format cuz I like to shake it up):

Transactions

  • After all those trade rumors about Francisco Lindor, it finally happened! Not only did the Mets land Lindor, but they also snatched Carlos Carrasco to greatly bolster that otherwise middling-ish rotation (at least until Thor is fully back). Going the other way were a couple prospects and two fantasy-relevant names: Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario. Honestly, I think this means very good things for all four of those names in fantasy terms. Lindor will obvs be in the heart of the lineup, with two OBP wizards (Nimmo and McNeil) above him and plenty of firepower below him. Carrasco goes to a better pitcher park and obviously a better team. Gimenez is probably the starting 2B in Cleveland, with Rosario taking Lindor’s spot at SS. RosterResource puts Gimenez at the leadoff spot for now. I think that’s realistic given his speed and decent-enough bat. Rosario is destined for the bottom of the order, but at least he’s got regular ABs now.  Oh yeah, real quick: Josh Wolf was one of the prospects going to Cleveland, and given their track record for developing SP…keep him on the ol’ radar. He brings a plus fastball and plus curveball right now. Could get even better!
  • Blake Treinen remains with the Dodgers, signing a two-year extension. Should be a nice source of holds and maybe the occasional save if you’re in one of them fancy SV/HD leagues. I love those kinds of leagues, honestly. Give more RPs some love, I say! Treinen isn’t super flashy, but it was nice to see him get his walks a little more under control compared to his ugly 13.9% walk rate in 2019.
  • Robbie Grossman signed with the Tigers. Kind of a weird signing if you ask me. He’s 31, and he’s locked in for at least a couple years. It’s not like Detroit is close to being competitive any time soon. The Gross Man did manage an .826 OPS last season with a career-best .241 ISO. He’s a cheap OBP source, too, sporting a K-rate below 20% and BB-rate north of 10%. Career OBP of .350. Currently slotted in the two-hole in the lineup, so there’s that. There are worse fantasy options out there.

Rumors and whatnot

  • It’s been reported that the Dodgers have interest in D.J. LeMahieuKirby Yates, and Liam Hendriks, the two hottest names on the market at their respective positions. The defending champs certainly could use DJLM at second if they aren’t ready to give the gig to Gavin Lux. I don’t know about all that. I’d let the kid play and avoid the albatross contract that’s bound to come with DJ. But who knows. As for the relievers, it’s sounding like the stronger interest lies with Yates. Maybe that’s due to what I’m about to talk about below.
  • Speaking of Liam Hendriks, he was also spotted at the Blue Jays complex. Like I’ve said before, the Jays really aren’t far off from being a contender. At least a get-to-the-playoffs contender. Bauer could absolutely still happen. Springer, too. But where the Jays really need help is in the pen, and Hendriks would be a massive addition. *narrator voice* Stay tuned.
  • Remember the Red Sox and how they used to be good? Well, apparently they’re looking at doing something about that and adding Jake Odorizzi. Now, he’s no ace, but forget 2020 happened to him and look at 2019. Not too shabby. A nice, friendly, take-it-home-to-meet-your-daughter 3.51 ERA. A very respectable 27.1% k-rate and an even more respectable 5% walk rate. He won 15 of his 30 starts, as well. For fantasy, I guess his stock would take a hit still. The Twins actually are good (at least in the regular season, amirite Blair?). The run support would not be the same in Boston. Plus he’d have to face the Rays and Yankee and maybe-gonna-be-good-if-they-sign-folk Blue Jays more. I’d still take a late flier on him.
  • The Orioles have been in contact with Jonathan Villar, making a reunion very possible. He had a yucky 2020 season, so he shouldn’t cost too much as he tries to get his career back on track. The O’s need a shortstop, that’s for sure. Villar’s 2019 season with Baltimore was pretty ding dang sexy, and it made him a popular draft-day target heading into last season. Those who drafted him at least got 16 stolen bases out of him (2nd in the MLB). They didn’t get anything else. Maybe coming back to familiar territory in a hitter-friendly park could be a good thing. He’ll be on my radar regardless, cuz steals.
  • If’n you haven’t heard, the 2021 MLB season should be starting on time! Yay! The MLB and MLBPA have agreed to honor the CBA (boy, how nice of the owners!) and start when they said they would.
  • So there’s some ball-doctoring scandal or something. I don’t know what to make of it at this point. A lot of finger-pointing by an ex-Angels visiting clubhouse manager, who was fired back in the spring, but Gerrit Cole‘s name keeps popping up. As do Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, among others. I have no idea if disciplinary measures are even possible for these or anyone else who’s been named. It’s pretty much universally acknowledged that pitchers use pine tar, but ask just about any hitter and they’ll tell you they don’t care. Still, something to monitor, that’s for sure. Trevor Bauer thinks something is up (see, of course, his Twitter, but he also wrote a piece in the Player’s Tribune a little while back questioning Astros starters back when Cole was there). Speaking of dramatically increased spin rates, though…
 
  1. Shawnuel says:
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    I suspect Bauer got tired of being behind other pitchers who got outside “help” to increase their spin rates, so, he started doing it also.

    • JKJ

      JKJ says:
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      I suspect the same!

    • LenFuego says:
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      It’s really not even just a suspicion any more … if you read Ben Clemens early 2020 Fangraphs article about Bauer’s last two months of 2019 (that was recently redux’ed on Fangraphs), it is plainly obvious that Bauer started using a substance to increase his spin rates at the end of 2019. I asked Clemens in a Fangraphs chat this week if he was going to update that article to examine whether Bauer continued the “experiment” in his Cy Young 2020 season, and he said there was no reason to because the answer is an obvious yes — something like 10 of Bauer’s highest 12 spin rate games ever were in 2020.

      • JKJ

        JKJ says:
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        I missed that one. Doesn’t surprise me one little bit though

  2. Jimmy says:
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    Traded Jordan Hicks for Smyly in a 20 team keeper….needed SP I have Kirby-Hunter Green – Lodolo- Deivi Cruz- Clarke Schmidt all waiting to contribute but needed help for the early part of the season… thoughts? starting the season with Ed Rod-Canning-Stroman-Stripling-Houck ..so I needed some help!

    • JKJ

      JKJ says:
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      Hmmm hard to just throw names out there not knowing who’s available. I would def try to do something about Stripling and Houck. I’m really not very high on E-Rod either. Those are some good names waiting to come up, though!

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